Louisiana's deep, persistent budget troubles are endangering the future of state medical training programs.
Proposed cuts to safety net hospitals could damage the stream of new doctors for a generation, in a state that has chronic shortages of healthcare workers and some of the worst healthcare outcomes in the nation.
And just the chatter about the financial threats is already having ripple effects, with other states' doctor-training programs cherry-picking some of Louisiana's top talent.
In the final days of their regular legislative session, Louisiana's lawmakers are grappling with a $600 million budget shortfall and trying to determine where to levy cuts.
LSU's two health sciences centers — and the hospitals that care for the poor and uninsured, in which medical students train — are threatened with steep cuts.